Book Tag – Mid-Year Check-In Book Tag

Hey, bookworms! We’re back with Amanda’s favorite tag of the year. It’s July, so a bit past mid-year, but we’re here to share some best and worsts of 2021 so far.

Best book you’ve read so far in 2021 – 

Amanda: I can never pick just one, so Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler and The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman are both pretty high up there.

Antonia: Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam. This book was seriously amazing. I can’t wait for the sequel.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2021 – 

Amanda:  Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. It was just so good.

Antonia: Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi. These books just get better and better.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore. I’ve loved all of McLemore’s books and I’m itching to get to thhis one.

Antonia: Legacy by Nora Roberts.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2021 – 
(See our full list of anticipated releases here)

Amanda: Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool and The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi. Two series finales to favorite series of mine. I can’t wait to finish both of these series.

Antonia: The Becoming by Nora Roberts coming out in November.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Everyone raved about this book and I let the hype get to me because I wasn’t impressed.

Antonia: Luckily I haven’t been disappointed by any books so far this year.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. As a rule, I don’t like horror. But now, maybe I do? I loved this book and that surprised the heck out of me.

Antonia: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. I’d been putting off reading this one for such a long time because I was worried I wouldn’t like Apollo as a narrator but I ended up completely loving it.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: Akemi Dawn Bowman and Adrienne Young. I still have more of their backlists to read, but I’m hoping to catch up before the end of 2021.

Antonia: Roshani Chokshi for sure. The Aru Shah series has been amazing and I can’t wait to pick up her other books too.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Casteel from The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I would die for both him and Poppy.

Antonia: Not really a new crush because I loved him from A Court of Thorns and Roses, but I have to pick Cassian from A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Rocky from Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I loved him so much.

Antonia: Aru Shah from Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. She is definitely one of the funniest narrators I’ve ever read about.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield. This book has some really tough subject matter so check out the content warnings before picking this one up.

Antonia: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. I wish I had this book in high school. It really spoke to my soul in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time.

Antonia: Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’ve loved the movie for years and even though the book obviously had differences, it was still so nice to see all my favorite characters again.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I’m sure everyones answer is this one but Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo that was adapted by Netflix. I had some issues with it, but I really did enjoy it.

Antonia: I have to agree with Amanda about Shadow and Bone. I think they did a really good job overall.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: Probably my review for Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. I feel like I came across as clear and said what I wanted to say.

Antonia: I haven’t written any reviews this year.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: Ohhh, probably a tie between The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He and the Fable duology by Adrienne Young (put them side by side and they are stunning.)

Antonia: I’ve been really good about not buying books this year.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda:

Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Antonia: So many. I’m way behind on my reading so I still have a lot from my winter TBR that I haven’t read and a bunch still coming out this year that I’m excited about. I’m definitely going to try to focus on books I already have before buying new though.

Anyone reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to tag us in your post.

Book Tag – Mid Year Book Freak Out

Best book you’ve read so far in 2020 – 

Amanda: This was really hard because I’ve read quite a few books this year that have become new favorites, but I’m going to go with There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool.

Antonia: Hideaway by Nora Roberts. I always love Nora’s books and this one was no exception.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020 – 

Amanda: Okay, I have three and I have to mention all three because none of them are talked about on the parts of the internet that I participate in. The Life Below by Alexandra Monir was incredible and I can’t wait for the third book. Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen is another because this is the second book, but can also be read interchangeably with the first because the stories are happening at the same time and that is just incredible to me. The third is A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig. No one ever talks about Heilig’s books but they are so diverse and incredible and more people need to love them.

Antonia: This one’s difficult because so many of the books I’ve read this year have been rereads or standalones. If I had to pick I’d say To Light A Candle by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I talk about my love for this trilogy a lot but the second is always my favorite.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this up yet because I own it and I’m so excited to read it.

Antonia: Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn. I’ve been struggling to pick this one up but I always love Flinn’s books so I know I’ll like it.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2020 – 

Amanda: The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty.

Antonia: Seven Devils by Laura Lam and Elizabeth May.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. I’m just going to pretend the first book in this series is a standalone because this sequel was all kinds of wrong.

Antonia: The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I was so annoyed by the characters throughout the whole book, I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: A friend recommended Rules for Being a Girl by Candice Bushnell & Katie Cotugno. It’s a new all-time favorite because I loved literally every aspect. It takes place in the state I grew up and is feminist in all the best ways.

Antonia: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I knew I would like it because of how highly Amanda recommended it but it was nothing like I was expecting. The writing style was so unique.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: Roshani Chokshi. In previous years I’d only read her Aru Shah series, but this year I’ve read all of the rest of her published books. I seem to love each more than the last and I’m very eager to read The Slivered Serpents when it’s published later this year.

Antonia: I haven’t really read any new authors this year so far, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Morgan from This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling. We really got to see more of Morgan and Hannah’s relationship in this sequel. Morgan was 100% my favorite character in this book and I would date her in a heartbeat.

Antonia: It’s kind of an old crush but I have to choose Rowan from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Cal from The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. He’s got goals and doesn’t let anyone (not even NASA or Star Watch) get in the way of those. He also made some really great friends and very obviously took new information and grew from it.

Antonia: Blue from This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. I love Red as well but Blue was definitely my favorite.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: Probably all of them. But some examples, Allegedly by Tiffany  D. Jackson, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Internment by Samira Ahmed, Night of the Dragon by Julie Kagawa, and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas just to name a few.

Antonia: Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. I will never not cry at the end of this series.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, Save the Date by Morgan Matson, You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai, and Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

Antonia: All of them? I guess I’d have to choose The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I haven’t actually seen any this year but a few I plan to watch because I’ve read the books finally are The Hate U Give and Crazy Rich Asians. I’m also excited for the final season of  The 100 and the upcoming Shadow and Bone Netflix series.

Antonia: I actually haven’t seen any this year either.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: I don’t think I have one, I think my reviews have been pretty average so far this year.

Antonia: I haven’t written any reviews this year.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: This is hard because the book covers this year have been absolutely stunning. Here are a few I love, Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Dark Shores & Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen, The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman, and This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling.

Antonia: I’ve been really good about not buying books this year because my TBR is so long but the couple covers I’m most looking forward to coming out this year are To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini and Among the Beasts and Briars by Ashley Poston.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda: I’ve been working really hard to get my physical TBR down to under 50 books (and I’m doing pretty well). But more specifically I’d like to read all of Rick Riordan’s books and a few other series that have been completed but I haven’t finished.

Antonia: My entire winter TBR that I’ve barely touched this year.

Anyone reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged, and feel free to tag us in your post.

Book Tag – MidYear Freak Out

We were tagged to do this book tag by our bookish friend over at Books and Rainy Days. Go check their blog out to see some great bookish posts! Let’s dive right into this week’s book tag –

Best book you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: This is hard. I don’t like to pick stuff like this because I love so many books. So I’m going to list a few that I really really liked and have stuck with me.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova 
The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Antonia: Beheld by Alex Flinn. This one was easy because 1. This book was amazing and 2. I’ve only read two books so far this year that weren’t part of a series. See my review of this book here.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: Okay, so I’m going to pick one where I started the series before this year for this one instead of a series I read all the way through. I’m going to go with Hell in a Handbasket by Denise Grover Swank (even though I really want to pick A Court of Frost and Starlight I don’t think it counts because it’s technically a novella.)

Antonia: I’ve read some really great sequels this year but I think I have to choose Blade of Empire by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. It exceeded all my expectations which, considering I waited seven years for this book to come out, I had a lot of.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: How am I supposed to pick just one with these questions?

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Let’s just make this easier for me. Why don’t you go to the “Upcoming Books” page on our blog and there’s a list of all the books that I’m looking forward to reading? If I haven’t reviewed it, then I haven’t read it yet.

Antonia: I agree with Amanda; just take a look at our “Upcoming Books”. I think Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts is still top of my list though.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018 – 

Amanda: It’s 100% a completely equal tie between Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness.

Antonia: Hmm… I think if I had to choose it’d be between Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts. Nora’s pretty much automatic for me and Kagawa’s new book sounds like nothing I’ve ever read before.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: This one is actually easy, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (reviewed here).

Antonia: I haven’t really been disappointed by any books so far this year. I think if I had to choose I’d pick The Wild Swans by K.M. Shea. She has a long list of fairy tale retellings; nothing I’d consider favorites but they were fun reads. This is the only one I didn’t like as much. I just found some of the characters a little annoying.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I think I’m choosing this one just because it wasn’t really what I expected and I was a bit surprised at the behavior of one specific character. Check out my review here to get a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this book.

Antonia: The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall. I’m including all four sub-series of this for this question. I was not expecting to like these books as much as I did. They’re kind of amazing. You can check out my review here.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: This is another hard one that I had to think about. I’m going to say Elise Kova. Her Air Awakens series was so incredible I will no doubt be reading anything else that she’s written that I can get my hands on.

Antonia: Either Linsey Hall or Agatha Christie. I really loved what I’ve read of theirs and can’t wait to read more.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Okay, so not really new, but a rekindled crush because I reread the series earlier this year, but the Darkling from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I love me some villain, and I’m not sorry about it.

Antonia: Definitely not a new crush but the only character this year that comes close is Percy Jackson from The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I love him so much.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Hmm. Liana Castell from The Girl Who Dared series by Bella Forrest (reviewed here) The final book came out and I just still really love her and how much she’s grown throughout these books.

Antonia: I have to choose Ember from The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. She’s not technically a new character for me since I was introduced to her a few years ago. I didn’t love her back then but as I finished the series recently and saw all her character development, I really loved the person she became.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: This is an unfair question. I”m currently seven months pregnant and have been pregnant for the entirety of 2018 so pretty much everything makes me cry. But the most memorable crying sesh that I’ve had has to have been the one while I was reading the Air Awakens Series (it was a boxed set on my Kindle, so it was like reading one book) by Elise Kova. I sobbed for like an hour after a certain part. I think my husband thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. The. Ending. Killed. Me. Annabeth and Percy finally get back together after Percy was kidnapped and now they’re stuck in Tartarus?! (Tartarus=Hell) Then Riordan made the dedication of the next book “To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.” I am so done.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: Renegades by Marissa Meyer. Superheroes, duh.

Antonia: All of them? But I’ll pick Beheld by Alex Flinn since it’s the only one that gave me that happy bubbly feeling in my chest when I finished it.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I haven’t actually seen any of the book-to-movie adaptations that have been released this year. (I’m forever a year or two behind when it comes to movies.) So I’m going to choose the one I’m most excited to see which is, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but also Fahrenheit 451.

Antonia: I also don’t keep up with new movie releases. The closest answer I have would be The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I haven’t actually read this yet but I’d like to and the movie looks really good as well.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: I’m going to say all four reviews that I wrote for the four books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas because this is one of my all time favorite series and I’m excited to have all four books reviewed and posted on the blog. (A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight)

Antonia: I have to choose Beheld by Alex Flinn (review). I just really enjoyed reading the book AND writing the review.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: The Bone Witch & The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco both have absolutely gorgeous book covers, which yes, is part of the reason I bought them.

Antonia: The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. I love these covers so much.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda: Can I just refer you to our “Upcoming Books” page again?

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
Wind Rider by P.C. Cast
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

I could keep going, but like I said, they’re all listed and if I haven’t posted a review it means I still need to read it.

Antonia: This one’s particularly hard for me because pretty much everything I read is based entirely on my mood at the time. Maybe Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I’ve been wanting to read this series for forever but somehow never got to it. Amanda and I were talking about it the other day and it’s made me want to finally read them. I already have books one and two sitting on my shelf.

We’re going to tag Danielle over at YA Allegiance. We hope you have as much fun (we’re lying this one was hard because we love so many books.) as we did with this post. Can’t wait to see what you choose for these questions.

Anyone else reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged and feel free to tag us in your post.